December 9, 2007


Well, my faith is shaken to its very core. Oh please. If this movie shakes anything, you are on pretty weak foundation. The Golden Compass has a lot of nice parts, but add those parts up and you don't get much of a story. The setting is a cool, Victorian England but with magic technology. The concepts are cool - dæmons as a kind of external soul in animal form have got to be the neatest fantasy "pet" untill they make a Dragonriders of Pern movie. The Armored Polar bears are just as cool as advertised. The cast is great - Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott. Eva Green as sexy/deadly witch. The only way to make an armored polar bear warrior cooler is to give him the voice of Ian McKellen. Of course, none of these folks get enough screen time. That all goes to the Kid. Lord The Authority spare me from precocious child actresses named Dakota.

The story is where all these fine parts fall apart. The central mystery of the story, something to do with magical "dust", infinite parallel worlds, the central church, and the dæmons of kids made no sense to me at all. And I have bought into a lot of scifi and fantasy concepts in my day. Its like they weren't even trying. If I can believe that when the robots take over they will rely on humans body heat for power, I can believe a lot, but throw me a bone here people.

So with nothing to hold it together, the story plods from place to place. A bit of jeopardy here, a bit of battle there. Nothing too compelling. The whole thing is a just a set-up for the next movie. Not so golden, I say.

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